Dare to Surf: The first ever Bangladeshi movie on surfing

Surfing is not as prominent in Bangladesh as it is in other countries. But there are a good number of surfers that hit the high waves of Cox’s Bazar every now and then. Even amid societal pressure and conservative religious mindset, surfing in Bangladesh is carving its way forward. And this intriguing story of surfing’s rise in a conservative society is about to be captured in celluloid for the first time ever.

Surfing in Bangladesh

In 1995, Jafar Alam started surfing culture in Bangladesh after buying a surfboard from an Australian and spending years teaching himself to surf.

After Surfing the Nations founder Tom Bauer decided to set up a surf club in Bangladesh, even women started to get involved in surfing.

Jafar Alam in his surfing club

Soon, Nasima Akhter, a young girl from Cox’s Bazar, left behind her home and family to join the surfing community. She would forever be known as the first ever Bangladeshi woman to become a world-class competitive surfer.

This year, the film industry of Bangladesh decided to make a movie based on the life of female surfers and the constraints they have to face in every step of their surfing journey. Named Dare to Surf in English, this movie portrays the story of a local Bangladeshi girl from Cox’s Bazar and her passion for surfing.

Model Sunerah Binte Kamal is going to play the character of Ayesha, a girl from Cox’s Bazar who challenges society’s prohibitions and joins the surfing community.

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Intriguing plot based on a true story

Ayesha (Sunerah) and Sohel (Shariful Raaz) both are passionate surfers and friends who, along with other youngsters, are trained by self-taught surfer Amir(Sayed Babu). This enthusiasm for surfing from a small town in Bangladesh starts to get international attention from several organizations.

But as funds and money are generated from this newly received attention, so is the hunger for fame, power and a heavy bank account.

While this gives Sohel the chance to get stardom and live a posh life in the city, it brings upon Ayesha a forced marriage and prohibitions in her love for surfing.

Inspired from the life story of the first female surfer Nasima Akhter, this movie not only shows how much a girl has to struggle to challenge cultural boundaries but also depicts the horrible consequences of being in the limelight.

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Excitement and hope

Directed by Tanim Rahman Angshu, Dare to Surf was made to advocate female empowerment and the right to live as they want. A released poster of the movie shows a young girl in a bridal saree walking on a sandy shore of Cox’s Bazar with a surfboard in her hand and a fierce look in her eyes. Although this was made as a festival poster to showcase in film festivals all around the world, it definitely conveys the stance this movie is taking. With famous screenwriter from Kolkata, Shyamal Sengupta and some amazing actors on board, movie enthusiasts have already started to provide positive feedback on this movie.

Previously, a documentary called The Most Fearless was made by Californian documentary filmmaker Heather Kissinger to portray the life of a female surfer from a conservative Muslim country. However, this is the first time the Bangladeshi film industry has attempted to make a movie that focuses on the surfing journey of a Bangladeshi woman.

5 perfect places in Bangladesh for camping adventures

As we skim through the calendar to check our schedules, we often struggle to decide how to spend our mini-vacations with holidays surrounding the weekends. Rather than visiting the eateries you come across in FoodBank, we bring you a more fun and exciting way to spend quality time with friends and family during vacation- five places in Bangladesh to go to for adventure/camping activities.

The Base Camp

Located in the outskirts of the city in Rajendrapur Chowrasta, Gazipur- Base Camp offers excellent accommodation and a number of activities. Some of their thrilling on-tree and on-ground activities for visitors include cycling, zip-lining archery, monkey-pass, forest trekking and of course, the ultimate ‘sitting-together-surrounding-the-camp fire’ experience! Base Camp offers accommodation in bungalow rooms, non-AC nature rooms and weatherproof tents as well as varieties of everyday meals- depending on your budget and choice.

Learn more about The Base Camp here.

Satchari National Park

Getting its name because of the seven streams flowing inside the forest, Satchari (meaning Seven streams) National Park of Sylhet provides an unforgettable experience like no other! Visitors indulge in the flora and fauna, surrounding themselves in the lush greenery of the beautiful forest. Being one of the best birding destinations of Bangladesh, this park provides you the opportunity to catch sight of some of the rarest species of birds. There are also tea gardens nearby for visiting; altogether, a trip there would surely mean a wonderful time amidst Mother Nature!

There are also quite a few adventure activities recently started in Satchori.

Nazimgarh Tent Camp

Imagine getting to choose between dining on the river-banks of the green-blue crystal clear Shari river or dining on a hill overlooking the mesmerizing Meghalaya hills. Indeed, Nazimgarh Tent Camp, also located in Sylhet showcases nature in its purest form. Offering weatherproof tent accommodation, Nazimgarh Tent Camp also provides cycling, boat riding, canoeing and kayaking, trekking and zorb balling activities. It also has three separate restaurants- one of which is set beside a beautiful river and the other on a hill with the beautiful mountains of Meghalaya in view.

Learn more about Nazimgarh Tent Camp here.

Munlai

Munlai gives its guests a memorable experience because of its uniqueness; unlike other places in Bangladesh focusing on simply giving you and your family/friends an enjoyable vacation, Munlai camp also involves the Bawm community. With a two-hour drive from Bandarban, the picturesque setting amidst lavish greenery, hills and the river Sangu- you reach in the serene land of the Bawm community who greet you with blissful smiles. Along with comfortable and hygienic homestays with necessary amenities, you also get to experience boating, camping, trekking, kayaking and the country’s longest zip-line. Moreover, enjoying the mouthwatering local Bawm cuisine served in native style using bamboos under the twinkling starry sky is definitely something you do not want to miss!

Learn more about Munali here.

Neocampers

Neocampers can be described as the family-friendly version of Base Camp; powered by Base Camp itself, Neocampers is ideal for family groups and school field-trips. Targeted at school children to indulge them in day-long fun activities and learn skills alongside mainstream education, Neocampers involves many enjoyable activities similar to Base Camp, guided by professional trainers. In addition to physical activities, workshops for carpentry, pottery-making, treasure-hunting, bird watch, campfire and basic BBQ facilities are also arranged here. Located in Savar, Neocampers definitely gives you a fun, challenging and learning environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Learn more about Neocampers here.

So, next time you unconsciously scratch the back of your head, struggling to decide where to go for an adventure the following vacation- don’t forget to check these five places out!